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  • Writer's pictureRuth Gamwell


Updated: Jun 14, 2022


Ok so I am not one for many words and as a summary last weeks allpointsnorth was tough really tough!!

Thursday 2nd June

Up with the normal carnage of kids and chaos!! But today I had to make my way to Sheffield to start some mad event that I entered. I was a late entry as I only found out about the event as a spare place was shared on the clubs Instagram account and I thought it sounded interesting… (now I am allocating blame on other people for me entering when actually it was all down to myself) but you can always say no or not start!?!?!?

Anyway here I am at ‘a different gear’ bike shop at the start of ‘allpointsnorth’.

My bike is checked for mechanical soundness but not my mind!!! I chat to Shelia who has loads of experience doing this sort of thing and she advises me of the sleep for 4 hours idea…. I am not sure though as I like my 8 hours and still struggle to get up.

Anyway 12.00 comes and we ride out,

I have decided to head east first to avoid the forecasted rain over night but I knew I was getting the flat easy bit first.

A detour round Goole where I used to live as a kid to throw back some memories was nice but what was I doing adding more miles in to the trip. Fish and chips in Pickering suggested by Alice was a good idea and then I chugged on, to Hornsea..first check point ✅. I thought I would be able to ride most of the night but at about 10pm I was cold and knew I needed to stop. I was somewhere near Pickering.

The bag for life ( emergency blanket) came out and somehow I slept ( on and off) until first light 4 am. By sleeping in the emergency blanket my sleeping bag and mat were now soaked.

Friday 3rd June

Anyway I set off towards my checkpoint 2 at Goathland station. Red sunrise was impressive but I was moving slow with not much energy it was also cold…

I kept grabbing what food I had but it was just snacks and I was empty… station done and a blur over to Byland abbey where i met another rider who was fast tracking so it was just a quick hello.

20mile down the road had a really plesent stop for a quick coffee and a chat to a MTBer about boltby bash years ago.

It was then a long trudge to the middle of the country and cow green reservoir.

I met another rider who was struggling with his achellies and said he was thinking about stopping and getting the train from Newcastle upon Tyne. ( idea put in my head).

It was then hill after hill across the moors into a horrible head wind… nowhere for food as it was just moors. I emerged into civilisation… well some houses and knew I needed food off on a detour only to have the worst fish and chips ever… my first set of tears 😭. Not even edible… 🤮. anyway I needed to get up past Newcastle upon Tyne to a hostel I had booked at Alnwick… the miles clocked up and the time and light went… I landed around 11pm and knew I needed to dry everything out in my bag from the previous night so out all my kit went into the drying room followed by a restless 4 hours sleep in a dorm.

Saturday 5th June

4am came around and I pack up and set off again…. Graveyard shift… riding very slow… nearly asleep… totally empty in fuel. Again not much choice in my route for food options…no not many 24hr petrol stations on the tracks and roads I had picked. Bambrough castle ticked off, I nearly did not bother going and finding the question to the clue as I had had enough!!!..

Eventually just before 9am I knew I needed to do something -and that was looking at trains to bail out. Carlisle was a option and I could get a train back to Manchester for £47.20 and the button was nearly pressed. I waited outside a cafe for it to open and a full English was forced down. Set off again and felt slightly better. I decided I would wait for the train ticket until I got to the station. Into Scotland and across keilder then into no man’s land again to bewcastle.

Slow and steady and eventually to Carlisle… the sun was out so I knew I could not pack but trying to find food caused more tears… town was full of pissed up di** heads and no options for food so again set off to the other side of the Lake District…a quick stop at a pub having a BBQ allowed a quick veggie pizza and more tears…after hours and hours of riding later I am walking up the legendary Wrynose pass at 10pm on my way to Ulpha and it’s post box.

Sunday 6th June

Sleep time again 4hours on top of the emergency blanket this time and then off riding back out of the Lake District a long hilly one. Eventually got to Sedbergh and had to beg a B&B to make me beans on toast. More hills and more tracks…the other three check points are ridden to and found but the rain had started.

Anyone who knows me will say I am nesh and once I am cold 🥶 it’s game over. So I am on the run into Sheffield only 60 mile to go, a wrong turning means I am on a slip road heading to the M65 so I am off my bike walking across a grass verge…I am done I phone my husband proper sobbing now saying come pick me up, the reply was ‘you have only got 60mile to go I am not picking you up now!!’ After plenty more tears and accepting I needed to rest a travel lodge was booked. Thanks to the kind lady in Starbucks who mopped up my tears. Bath… food and bed in Burnley then up at 3am to finish the job. More rain and mud later..I am back at Heeley to claps and a nice welcome. Not sure how or why…but I can say that was the hardest thing I have done and it will take some getting over mentally and physically. But what a event..brilliant team organising and sorting everything out and all the other riders, finished or not…full respect ✊🏻 👍🏻

photo credit to #allpointsnorth #kinesisbijes

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